Russia again extends detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich after a year behind bars – 24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today

Russia again extends detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich after a year behind bars – Latest International Breaking News Today

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A Russian court on Tuesday again extended the detention of Evan Gershkovich, an American reporter for The Wall Street Journal who was arrested a year ago on what the U.S. decries as bogus espionage charges. 

Moscow City Court officials said Gershkovich will remain in custody until at least June 30. The 32-year-old U.S. citizen was arrested and detained on March 29, 2023, while on a reporting trip to the city of Yekaterinburgand has been behind bars ever since. He is being held at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, which is notorious for its harsh conditions.

Photos from the courtroom released by court officials showed Gershkovich, clad in a black checkered shirt, smiling from the glass defendant’s box, according to The Associated Press. 

Gershkovich and his employer have denied the allegations, and the U.S. government has declared him to be wrongfully detained.

U.S. ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy attended the court hearing on Tuesday and reiterated that “the accusations against Evan are categorically untrue.”

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EVAN GERSHKOVICH SISTER DESCRIBES AGONIZING YEAR AS GRIM MILESTONE OF HIS IMPRISONMENT APPROACHES

Gershkovich dressed in black in Moscow court box

Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, looks out from inside a defendants’ cage before a hearing to consider an appeal on his extended pre-trial detention, at the Moscow City Court in Moscow on Feb. 20, 2024.  (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)

“They are not a different interpretation of circumstances. They are fiction,” Tracy told reporters outside of the courthouse. “No justification for Evan’s continued detention, and no explanation as to why Evan doing his job as a journalist constituted a crime. Evan’s case is not about evidence, due process or rule of law. It is about using American citizens as pawns to achieve political ends.”

Ambassador Tracey arrives for Gershkovich court hearing

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy enters the Moscow City Court to attend a hearing on Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s case, in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Analysts have pointed out that Moscow may be using jailed Americans as bargaining chips in soaring U.S.-Russian tensions over the Kremlin’s military operation in Ukraine. At least two U.S. citizens arrested in Russia in recent years — including WNBA star Brittney Griner — have been exchanged for Russians jailed in the U.S.

WHITE HOUSE SAYS IT’S WORKING TO BRING WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTER EVAN GERSHKOVICH HOME: ‘WILL NOT LET UP’

Gershkovich being escorted to a van

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is escorted from the Lefortovsky court in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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Gershkovich is the first American reporter to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia since September 1986, when Nicholas Daniloff, a Moscow correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, was arrested by the KGB. Daniloff was released without charge 20 days later in a swap for an employee of the Soviet Union’s U.N. mission who was arrested by the FBI, also on spying charges.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

-24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today
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